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Communal Grief in Unprecedented Times

Communal Grief in Unprecedented Times

We are living in a time right now that will be written down in history books for future generations to look back on.  From a global pandemic to rioting, protesting and a worldwide cry for racial equality and justice.  History is being written as we speak and along the way, we grieve. Now more than ever we are experiencing communal grief. Together as a society we grieve the lives and livelihood lost. We grieve the comfort of what we once knew.

The entire globe is experiencing grief and loss together

This is the first time in history where the entire world had to stand still and “shutdown”. No race, religion or creed was protected from it.  Protests occurred in all 50 of the United States as well as many other countries and communities around the world, calling for justice and racial equality. When a public figure dies or a natural disaster occurs the community grieves together.  Communal grief is not a new concept but at this time in history it is being done like never before.


In Minneapolis hundreds of people gather daily at the place where George Floyd’s life slipped away from him at the hands of a police officer.  It started as a mural in remembrance and has become a place to share in communal grief. Each day more flowers and messages of hope sit at the intersection.  People kneel down to cry and to pray for a family and a man they never knew. 


Right now as I sit and write this the 3rd and final funeral service for George Floyd is taking place in Houston Texas. Just a week before a memorial service took place in Minneapolis. In each of these services the family and friends and celebrities who were touched by the tragedy. Outside the streets lined with mourners from the community.  Many of these people did not know him in his lifetime but yet they mourned his death.  


Unprecedented widespread loss brings us together in Communal Grief


So much of the world is feeling loss and grief at this time. Whether it is loss of a loved one who fell victim to the Coronavirus to the loss of a business or livelihood or simply the loss of certainty of what the future holds.  Communal grief can start the path to healing.  Universality is reassuring for many when going through bouts of grief and loss. Knowing that you are not alone lets you know that others understand what you are going through.  Right now, more than ever is a time of communal grief and healing as we move toward a stronger future.


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